Status dystonicus in childhood.


BACKGROUND Status Dystonicus is a rare complication of dystonia. It is a life threatening disorder that needs urgent treatment.The aim of this study is to describe clinical features, management and follow up of children with Status Dystonicus. METHODS - We conducted a retrospective study over an 8-year period including all patients diagnosed with Status Dystonicus. Clinical characteristics, etiologies and management were analyzed. RESULTS - Ten patients were included. Main features of Status Dystonicus were a severe generalized dystonia with vegetative signs. Laryngeal spasm and swallowing disorders were observed in 4 cases. Several treatments such as Levodopa, Anticholinergics, Baclofen, Benzodiazepines and Neuroleptics were tried. Mechanical ventilation was required in 4 cases. Two patients died due to rhabdomyolysis and respiratory failure. Others returned to their pre-Status Dystonicus. CONCLUSION - Status Dystonicus is a life threatening condition that needs an urgent management on an intensive care unit. In fact, patients with Status Dystonicus can develop respiratory failure and metabolic complications.On the basis of our experience, we delineated a therapeutic approach in which the patient with Status Dystonicus needs supportive care, specific therapy of dystonia and intravenous sedative treatment.


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